H1Z1 impressions – a fantastic zombie MMO from SOE


We met with Adam Clegg, World Designer for H1Z1. The zombie survival MMO is currently in Alpha for PC and based on what I saw I desperately want it to come to the PS4 at some point down the line. It is an SOE game after all so there’s always a chance.

You start in the world with a flashlight and an axe and nothing else. The game runs on persistent servers and it’s currently set in a rural, wooded area roughly sixty-four square kilometers in size. The plans are to expand the world as the game grows to eventually include the entire United States.

It’s set up to be a massive PvP MMO and what you’ll be facing can be pretty terrifying at times. With bears, wolves, zombies and other players, there are plenty of threats. You’ll need to survive much like you would in the real world. In doing so, you have to worry about your Health, Stamina, Hunger and Thirst.


For example, you can find a water bottle and fill it in a river or lake but if you don’t boil it first to sterilize it you’ll end up sick and taking damage. You can chop down trees for firewood and other crafting items but doing so will alert other players to your presence as they’ll be able to see and hear the trees falling in the distance.

The crafting system is easy to work with as you can find items and put them together to learn new recipes. In the current build there are about one hundred items to craft but they plan on adding hundreds more over time.

With persistent servers and a perma-death system you really need to be cautious in the world. Say you die with a backpack full of stuff, when you respawn into the world, you’ll be back to your flashlight and axe, but you may be able to find your zombie running around with your backpack full of items on. In fact, you’ll probably see a number of ex-player zombies with backpacks running around the world.

You can clear out a space and make a camp but anyone can raid it. It’ll feel a lot like apocalyptic zombie movies where people are unsure about trusting one another and can turn on each other at any time.

Vehicles are available but rare. Some may not have any fuel, some may have busted tires or other things that need fixing before you can use them. Vehicles also make a lot of noise, alerting zombies and other players to your presence so you’ll want to use them sparingly if you find them. As you learn more skills, Base Building becomes available with platforms, structures, doors and traps. It’s all pretty impressive.

Guns are also available but extremely rare (and noisy). They’ll really draw a lot of unwanted attention so you’ll have to think carefully about using them if you come across any.

There’s a full physics engine, day-night cycles and weather effects in the game and it all looks fantastic, even at this early stage. The little details are all there, with power lines and telephone wires, the roads, bridges and more. It all comes together to make it a really great experience.

Right now the game is Early Access on Steam for $20 and it’ll be Free to Play when it launches. Microtransactions will be available only for car or clothing customizations but not for anything survival related at all. So you can’t buy food or wood or anything like that.

It really looks exciting and it’s the type of game that I’d definitely sink hours into so I’m really hoping it makes it to the PlayStation 4 some time in the future.

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Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 26 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation.

Josh is currently the US PR & Marketing Manager for Fountain Digital Labs and has recused himself from any involvement on PS Nation arising from posting or editing any news or reviews stemming from FDL.

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